Friendship Kelley Long Financial Advisor for womenWhat do you do when GNO (Girl’s Night Out) isn’t really in your budget? You take girlfriend advice from our financial friend – Kelley Long!

Girlfriend advice, aka ‘women’s wisdom’ is one of the many benefits to having female friendship. Where would we be without the amazing supportive and generous sharing from girlfriends who know things that we don’t? We have a wonderful opportunity to learn from women who are experts in areas where we lack.

This is especially true for me (the lacking part!) with this week’s BlogTalkRadio.com/Girlfriendology guest: KELLEY LONG. Kelley is a financial consultant who understands all the things (like investments, budgets, etc.) that I struggle with. So, when Kelley speaks, I listen. And when she speaks about fun, frugal friend advice, we share on Girlfriendology!

(LISTEN IN to Kelley’s financial girlfriend advice!)

Girlfriend Advice –  Girl’s Night IN, by Kelley Long

We’ve all heard the advice about how important girlfriends are to keeping our sanity. When no one else understands, we always have our gal pals to remind us how fabulous we are. Yet it’s easy to get caught up in everyday life as we juggle career, family, volunteering and simply keeping the house clean. It’s easy for a whole month pass without any time with our girlfriends.

Enter Girls Night Out – a designated evening when girlfriends dress up and meet at the latest hot spot to catch up on each other’s lives. Invariably the event includes a stop at the ATM and before we know it, we’ve done serious damage to our account balance.

GNO is expensive! Even just a couple glasses of wine and an appetizer can cost more than $30 at some of my favorite chichi restaurants in Cincinnati. And I won’t even mention the damage a dirty martini and scallop from BOCA can do (though I have to say it’s worth it). So what’s a girl to do when she’s bound by a budget but doesn’t want to miss out on the fun? Girls Night In, of course!

To get started, assign everyone a food or beverage item to supply. Then catch up on the cheap by gathering at a girlfriend’s home. (Don’t you want a chance to show off your decorating prowess anyway?) To add a little variety, consider assigning a theme to the evening. My mom’s BUNCO group designated one month “Miss America” night, and each member came as a Miss Someone. Miss Calculated, Miss Understood and Miss Demeanor all made appearances, adding humor to an already fun gathering of girlfriends.

Another thrifty idea is to have a clothing and accessory swap. Have everyone bring an item from her closet that is trendy and in good condition that she’s ready to pass along, then swap and barter with each other. Everyone leaves with something new to add to her wardrobe without spending a dime. I’ve also done this with books and haven’t bought a book at the bookstore in years!

If you and your girlfriends enjoy exercising your creativity, consider an arts and crafts night. For example, have each gal bring a ball of yarn, knitting needles and a little bit of patience, and start everyone knitting her own scarf. It only takes a few minutes to get started, and as long as one girlfriend knows how to knit, she can quickly show everyone. You also can refer to online tutorials, which is how I learned to knit. If knitting is too technical, try beaded jewelry or making personalized notecards.

For a pampering girls night in, organize an at-home spa. Set up a facial station, pedicure chair and manicure table, and then take turns treating each other to beauty treatments. Everyone should bring her own products like facial masks, nail polish, pumice stones, etc. Just make sure everyone gets a turn!

With a little creativity and organization Girls Night In can be just as fun as Girls Night Out and much more budget friendly! In fact, I think it’s time that I scheduled my own Girls Night In with my ladies. Get out your calendars, girls!

Kelley C. Long, CPA is the owner of KCL Financial Coaching and believes you shouldn’t have to have a million bucks to receive great financial advice. She works with clients both face-to-face and remotely to help them uncover their financial goals and make peace with money. Check her out at www.kelleyclong.com.

Here’s Kelley’s financial girlfriend advice!

Thanks Kelley for sharing these great ideas for Girl’s Night In!

p.s. To be honest, this post got us thinking about how, as women, we have to take charge of our finances and be proactive in managing our money – not leave it to someone else. We encourage you to read up on financial management for women, explore sources like Dave Ramsey and to talk with your girlfriends about how they manage their finances and plan for their retirement / estate.